June 19, 2018, 6:46 am

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, I will be speaking about marketing at a conference in Chicago. The expo was nice enough to let me invite non-members to my sessions on that day at the James Hotel.

At 10 AM I am presenting How to Compete, a session I have done a couple of times about competing in the telecom sector. I will hit on these 3 sales scenarios:

      Do you get beat on Price?
      Is cable stealing your business?
      Are you having trouble selling Hosted PBX?

At 2:15 the session is Marketing: Grab your Umbrella, It’s Cloudy Out. In this session, I am going to run through cloud services you need to offer and how to market them. Fast paced.

At 4:15, Marketing in 3 Easy Steps will give you (at least) three action steps to take in order to market your cloud services.

All sessions are fast paced and I encourage questions.

There is a special day rate of just $49 for you to come to the expo – and that includes lunch and a luncheon keynote on Leadership. If interested, email me for the discount code. Hope to see you in Chicago!

Can You Sell Via Social Media?

Filed under: Peter Radizeski,Sales Tips,social media,word-of-mouth — Friday, August 27, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

I just read this blog post, Can you sell your product using social media networks?

He states, “The Social Media area of the New Media is a listening platform, NOT a selling platform.” I believe that, but so many use it as a broadcast media. A PR machine. That doesn’t work for attention or selling.

Social media works effectively for Customer Care. Ask @XOCare, Comcast, JetBlue, SWAir. Why? Engagement.

Rule number 1 in sales is be Friendly. Make a friend. You can do that online. If you Listen first. Then have a conversation.

“Give generously and people will follow you.” That is the premise of Linchpins by Seth Godin. Be Generous. It’s one way to stand out or become an Expert.

The new sales process involves word-of-mouth, user reviews, online searches, and comparison shopping.

I have seen people test social network responsiveness of companies before buying from them. It’s a whole new world.

It’s definitely easier to sell things like Dell gear, hotel rooms or discounted airfare, than services on social media. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It’s just more challenging.

Gary Vaynerchuk was in Tampa tonight speaking about Crush It, his new book. He talked about branding your business via online marketing, which is what has made him famous. (On Wine Library TV).

Gary started in retail at the age of 6 with lemonade stands. That’s right: plural. He had others working for him over the summer. He understood early that business is about eyeballs.

We agree on 2 points:  (1) Storytelling is the key to business. (2) Social media is just a marketing tool like the printing press. It isn’t about the tool; it’s all about the story to the market.

Gary says that if you don’t get Twitter or Facebook, get over it because millions are using it. That’s where the eyeballs are, so you better be there. But doing what? It isn’t about Talking. It’s about Listening. (Which btw is a huge lesson in sales. Two ears, one mouth; listen twice as much as you talk

Too many businesses draw a line in the sand. You have to see trends and go with the flow. “Business is  a game of change.” If billions are on FB – but more important, if your target market is on FB or Twitter – then you need to be there to. Listening, engaging, telling your story. The World Wrestling Entertainment is about storytelling. Disney and Pixar are all about stories. Branding is about the story that the consumer has heard about your brand – the sum total of story, experience, WOM (word-of-mouth), and emotional tag. How you feel about Dunkin Donuts or Nike is the branding.

Another point he made has been made by Seth Godin: You have to know what business you are in. During Q&A (which was half the night), Gary kept asking people these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you selling?
  • What’s your story?
  • Where are you going?
  • What are your expectations?
  • What do you expect to happen?
  • What do you want to happen?

His answer to most questions was Content. That translates into Personal Branding online. Buy the domain yourname.com. Start a blog. Video, audio, text – doesn’t matter. Start producing content (and stories) about what you are passionate about, what you have knowledge about. But do it in your own voice. This is your online presence, your home on the Internet – just 15 years old but changing everything everyday.

He spoke over and again about Transparency. Basically, be authentic, because if you aren’t, you will be caught and outed. In a similar vein, remember that everything is recorded for posterity today. Cameras are everywhere. Everything you put online is permanent. If you aren’t authentic, it will come out.

When it comes to What are you selling, be Honest with yourself. It’s okay for it to be about the Benjamins. Just make certain that you know what you want and expect, so that you know where you are headed.

Gary Vee’s BHAG is to own the NY Jets. It’s what guides his actions. Having a seven month old child may have changed that just a little bit. He’s all about “Crushing It” – working smart and hard. He works 19 hours per day. (He is cutting back to 15 now). What’s yours? What guides your business decisions? What is  your Goal or Vision that keeps you motivated?  (It’s a key part of the equation).

Note: Lack of self-esteem and laziness is destroying business value.

Gary mentioned that WOM converts to a sale 70% of the time. Advertising converts 12%. Today, with online personal branding your job is to create fans, who will spread the word (re-tell your story) about your business to prospects, who will become customers.

We are becoming more connected and more documented every day. So the days of chasing the quick cash might be coming to an end.

Gary thinks the Wal-Mart Era is almost over and it will become the Niche Era. We will win next. Oops! There will be 2000 to 8000 of Yoga Chicks in your area. You better have the skills and the work ethic to beat them. YOU are the Differentiating factor.

Here’s why Gary thinks the Zappos story is so important: because it is the story about how Culture and Service won (not price). Zappos cost more than other online shoes stores, but the Culture was to make the customer happy. That won out (when its competitor, Amazon bought Zappos for $1B)

The other thing to notice is that customers are going through an Expectation Shift. Instant Customer Service will be expected or you will become a commodity (and lowest price will win).

BTW, that social media thing? It takes time to work, so be patient.

UPDATE:  Fellow Tampa blogger, Deana Goldasich, has  a great write-up about the Gary Vee talk here.

Nuvox is an alternative phone company servicing businesses in the Southeast. Recently, Nuvox announced that they “launched a Social Media campaign to increase brand awareness and establish a greater presence on the web. NuVox’s overall marketing strategy combines social media tactics and traditional public relations practices to promote the NuVox® brand to its target customers.”

“With a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, and the NuVox YouTube Channel, these social media networking sites act as an effective outlet for releasing information to key audiences.”

XO uses social media too. Corporations announcing that they use social media is not news. Do you announce a new PR campaign? The truth is if your company isn’t using social media to market, find prospects, and reputation management – then you are missing out. Social media is a way to enhance word of mouth marketing and to pay attention to what is being said about your brand/company.

Need help with your social media strategy, call our office at 813-496-2122.

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